Regulation can work for pensioners

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The FT reports that:

The Takeover Panel has taken the highly unusual step of giving Pension Corporation the option to withdraw from its agreed £400m bid for Telent, a communications services company, after the Pensions Regulator replaced the trustees to the target's pension scheme with three of its own choice, who cannot be removed for six months.

The replacement of trustees could be an obstacle to restructuring the pension scheme - which includes £500m in an escrow account - in a way that allows Pension Corporation to benefit.

I've already covered this story here and raised the obvious question about the risk of abuse inherent in the Pension Corporation's plan for this company, and the chance it will get away with it because it is based in Guernsey.

It's great to see that the Pension Regulator shares that opinion and is making life hard for this deal. But I remain concerned - why have they appointed trustees for just 6 months? Most people can wait that long to get their hands on £500 million. It's a start, but it's not good enough.

Pensioners need protection from offshore sharks, and I fear that this is just the first skirmish in what may be a long war.